Rest and reflect
13 December 2021
As term winds down, it’s important to take some time to rest so that you can go into the new year feeling refreshed and ready for the new challenges ahead. Read on for some tips on how to relax whilst also ensuring that your new year is productive and fruitful.
The end of term 1 is almost upon us, which means the Christmas lights are up, dark nights are drawing in and the scarves, hats and gloves are out. It can be difficult to juggle having a break from studies, spending time with friends and family and enjoying the holiday season whilst also being aware of the deadlines you may have in the new year. The winter break can be overwhelming at the best of times, but whilst we’re also still in the midst of a pandemic, it’s understandable if you’re feeling apprehensive about the start of a new term and a new year.
Why should you rest?
Taking time to rest in between term breaks is extremely important. Not only does it mean that your mind and body have a chance to recuperate, it ensures that you can go into term 2 feeling refreshed and prepared for the next step in your degree programme. Not to mention, this year has been no ordinary year. The pandemic has left many of us feeling emotionally and physically drained, so resting up will pay dividens when your returning to study in term 2 and help avoid burnout.
Ways of resting
You may be feeling like you need to continue working to stay on top of your studies or even get ahead your term 2 reading, and although there is no harm in being prepared, make sure that you set days or parts of days aside to do something that isn’t academic work. Resting doesn’t have to be lying down on the couch binge-watching Netflix (although it absolutely can be!), it can be spending time with friends or family, practicing a hobby, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. During this break, take advantage of opportunities that benefit your mental and physical wellbeing, almost your ‘self-care’ rituals. Be mindful of what level of rest will benefit your future wellbeing going in to term 2; over asserting yourself during the break may cause burn out in January, but equally leaving all your deadlines until last minute and pulling all-nighters in the library isn’t the ideal start to the new year.
As you are most probably aware, getting a good night’s sleep is a vital part of rest and of student life. Read more about creating healthy sleeping habits.
Time to reflect
During your time away from lectures and libraries, take time to reflect on your year so far and your achievements, whatever your year of study. You may have submitted your first ever university assignment, joined a new society or moved away from home for the first time. This year has not been a typical year, so celebrate those achievements and be proud of yourself. Reflecting on what went well and what could have gone better will help you learn about yourself and equip you with the knowledge to hit the ground running as you progress to the next chapter of your course.
Some of you may be going home for the break, some may not be able to go home, and others may not want to. If you’re returning home, read about how to make the most of your trip. If you’re spending the winter break at university, check out top picks of things to do in London. A change of scenery can be good for your mind, and luckily you're studying in a city which offers a wide range of experiences in each of its neighbourhoods. Take this opportunity to visit areas you don’t know and try out new food and activities!
Support available from Student Support and Wellbeing
There are still plenty of ways to get support over the winter break. Find out our service opening hours and how you can get support when we’re closed.